The Chuckwagon – Western Recipes


BBQ Biscuit Pie

Buffalo (or beef) Steaks with Chipotle-Coffee Rub

Chuckwagon Stew

Chunky Chili

Cowboy Beans

Cowboy Fry Bread

Cowboy Sausage and Sweet Taters

Dakota Fried Tomatoes

Green Chili

Indian Breakfast

Lazy B Corn Fritters

Missouri-Style Barbecue Ribs

Old West Sourdough Biscuits

Quick Southwest Chili

Range Riders Stew

Scalloped Corn

Venison or Beef Jerky

Venison Parmesan Over Pasta

Wagon Train Biscuits

Did you know? 

When Cookie  was finished with his work for the day and before hitting the sack, he would always place the tongue of the chuck wagon facing north. When the trail master started in the morning he would look at the tongue and then knew what direction he would be moving the herd.

Camp Cook Names: Soggy, Pot Russler, Lean Skillet, Old Pud, Coosie, Old lady, Belly Cheater, Biscuit Roller, Dough Boxer, Dough Puncher, Greasy Belly, Grub Worm, Gut Robber, Sourdough, and more.


Cowboys around the chuckwagon


Chuckwagon Etiquette

  • No one eats until Cookie calls
  • When Cookie calls, everyone comes a runnin’
  • Hungry cowboys wait for no man. They fill their plates, fill their bellies, and then move on so stragglers can fill their plates
  • Cowboys eat first, talk later.
  • It’s okay to eat with your fingers. The food is clean
  • If you’re refilling the coffee cup and someone yells “Man at the pot.” You’re obliged to serve refills.
  • Don’t take the last serving unless your sure you’re the last man.
  • Food left on the plate is an insult to the cook.
  • No running or saddling a horse near the wagon. And when you ride off, always ride down wind from the wagon.
  • If you come across any decent firewood, bring it back to the wagon
  • Strangers are always welcome at the wagon.


Recipe for Cowboy Coffee

Take two pounds of Arbuckle’s coffee, put in enough water to wet it down, boil it for two hours, then throw in a hoss shoe. If the hoss shoe sinks, she ain’t ready.

Never trust a skinny cook

— Author Unknown

Continue on to Recipes

You might also like: 

Campfire Recipes

The Chuck Wagon – Real Queen of the Cattle Trail

Dutch Oven Recipes

Flavors of the Mother Road – Route 66 Recipes

Frontier Recipes

Good Ole’ Fashioned Recipes

A Hill Of Beans – Baked Beans That Is

9 thoughts on “The Chuckwagon – Western Recipes”

  1. Hi,
    Me and my family are planning a self made trip in West USA and we would like to have a dinner like a “real old west bivouac under the stars” (or chuck wagon cooking?).
    Someone can advise me if there are some places that organize this kind of events? Or can you give me information about it?
    Thank you so much for all your advice
    Kind Regards
    Enrico from Italy

    1. The Rattlesnake camp grounds in Alabama is putting on trail rides and Chuck wagon cooking next weekend starts Thursday 21st

    2. Ciao Enrico! Many years ago (about 1997 when my son was 11), we took a trip out West and stayed at a great little place near Chimney Rock near Scots Bluff, Nebraska on the Oregon Trail. I think it was this place (from the description):Oregon Trail Wagon Train at the Base of Chimney Rock near Bayard , Bayard, NE 69334 –(308) 586-1850 / See Description at: There is also a museum in Scot’s Bluff and hiking trails and Carhenge is not too far away. We stayed in a log cabin that had a chuckwagon meal cooked outdoors along with a cowboy sing-along. They also had a Conestoga wagon (both day and overnight) trips out to Chimney Rock. If you want to stand in the ruts of the Oregon Trail and take a Conestoga ride to Chimney Rock, this is a great location to stop! I did see some other websites that offer camping in Conestoga wagons by doing a search for Conestoga Wagon trips in western USA. There were some in Utah and Yosemite. Good luck and hope you enjoy your trip to the “Wild West”!

    3. Bar D Ranch in Durango, CO. A little dude ranchy/touristy but a whole lotta fun with a cowboy band to boot. Dave S

    4. See Beautiful Jackson Hole Wyoming! The “Bar J Chuckwagon” and the “Bar T 5” are authentic Chuckwagon experiences. Both include amazing food and family fun entertainment! (Old western music/comedy)

  2. These recipes are fantastic and excellent. I’m a senior and watch all the Old Westerns as I grew up on a ranch so being on limited income I realized they got by on next to far less than we have today but few went hungry so I wanted a Site Exactly like this for True recipes. My grandparents were ranchers over and over so it all fits. Wonderful!
    Thank you.

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